Arroz negro means black rice in Spanish. Its key characteristics are its nutty and roasty taste, which is why I like this dish so much. I also like it because it looks quite noble when served on a white plate ☺ and I’m not the only one who thinks that. It’s said that in ancient China, black rice was considered so unique and nutritious that it was forbidden to everyone except royalty. That’s why you might also hear the term ‘forbidden rice’ when referring to black rice. So if you want to treat your guests like queens and kings, this is exactly what you should serve them.
Today, a variety of different types of black rice exists, and all of them are still considered to be nutritious and protein-packed. In this recipe, I used Venere rice and created a risotto-style dish. You can substitute it with any other black rice or risotto rice, just make sure you stick to the suggested cooking times on the package. Even if you use the same rice as I chose, taste it every now and then to make sure that it doesn’t get overcooked. Risotto should always be fully cooked, but still feel firm when you chew it – no mashed rice, thank you!
I created this recipe as a main dish of risotto with seafood. The earthy taste of the black rice goes along very well with the fresh, lemony seafood. I integrated squid rings, calamaretti and mussels, but you can certainly add more or any of your other favorite seafood.
If you’d like to offer this as a side dish, make sure the seafood you choose goes well with whatever you serve, or just leave it out and serve the arroz negro plain, as a simple, flavorful side dish. You can follow the same instructions in the recipe below, just forget the fish.
Enjoy this special dish on any special occasion, and please let me know if you felt royal while eating it 🙂
ARROZ NEGRO WITH SEAFOOD
- Approx. 1.2 liter vegetable broth heated
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots finely chopped
- 3 spring onions finely chopped
- 1 pinch of salt
- 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 pepperoncini deseeded and finely chopped
- 400 g black rice Venere rice, rinsed with cold water and drained
- 250 ml white wine
- 25 g of butter
- A little black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves grated
- 1 tsp chili powder
- A little black pepper
- 200 g calamari squid rings, already thawed (if bought frozen)
- 200 g calamaretti baby squids, ready to cook, already thawed (if bought frozen)
- 200 g fresh mussels already thawed (if bought frozen)
- 1 lemon in wedges
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley for serving
- Bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a medium-sized pot and keep it heated on the lowest possible heat.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized pot, add the shallot, spring onions, and a pinch of salt, and sauté for about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, pepperoncini and rice, and sauté briefly for about 2 minutes. Then, deglaze with white wine and allow it to reduce completely, until there is no wine remaining in the pan. Add enough broth to cover the rice and continue to simmer on medium heat, stirring very frequently. Gradually add broth so that the rice is always covered with it, and let the risotto cook until it is al dente (approx. 40 min.). Make sure you try the rice from time to time so that it doesn’t get overcooked. It should be cooked through, but still be firm inside when you bite into it. As soon as the risotto is done cooking, add butter and pepper. Cover and leave the risotto to set on the turn-off stove top for another 2 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, chili powder and black pepper.
- Rinse and drain the calamari and calamaretti well. Brush the mussels well under cold, running water, remove the beard, if there is any, and discard any open mussels. Dry all the seafood, add to the olive oil mixture and mix gently.
- Shortly before the rice is done, heat olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Once the oil is very hot, add the seafood, cover the pan, and cook over high heat for approx. 3 minutes until the mussels open. Discard any closed mussels. Mix the cooked calamari and calamaretti into the risotto, arrange the mussels on top, and serve immediately with a little bit of fresh parsley.